Star-Bulletin Features


Tuesday, December 22, 1998



By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Battered biped Tim Ryan finally got good shoes.



Treat your
feet to good
walking shoes

WALKING STORIES

Walking Stories

Miles walked: 143.9
Days walked: 14

By Tim Ryan
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

It started as a subtle pinch at the tips of two toes early on in the second of seven days I'd be walking around Oahu. Four hours later, the toe nails were throbbing and had turned a sickish sort of blue-red color. And they hurt!

I later learned I had done several things wrong in selecting shoes for an 80-mile jaunt.

First, I had not taken into consideration that feet can swell during aerobic activity and thick socks can add at least half a size. Second, I started my walk in running shoes, then switched to cross trainers -- both bad strategies.

Both my Nike running shoes and K-Swiss cross trainers were too snug to begin with; my fault, not the manufacturers. The cross trainers, though barely used, were 2 years old and stiff.

"The biggest mistake people make is buying a shoe too small," said Paula Sussex, owner of Walking in Paradise at Ward Warehouse and The Sandal Tree, which carries Mephisto and several other high-quality walking shoes. "Make sure your foot is professionally fitted for length and width. Then walk around the store in the shoes you're considering."

There should be a space of at least a half-inch between the big toe and the shoe, she said. If this isn't the case, go a half-size larger, Sussex said.

If the shoes feel snug in the store, it's a guarantee they'll be too small when you're exercising, said Gary Kitayama, the athletic shoe "expert" at The Sports Authority in Waikele.

"The longer you walk or run, the more feet swell," he said. "And when the shoe's too tight, rubbing and friction happens. Then you're in real trouble."

In walking, it's important to give your toes a good degree of freedom, Sussex added.

"You don't want them locked in, one against another," she said. "The same thing applies at the heel."


For walkers

Bullet Na Kama Hele is a pedestrian advocacy group. Call Todd Boulanger, (phone and fax) 988-0432; or e-mail, agualibre@igc.apc.org; or P.O. Box 22424, Honolulu 96823-2424

Bullet Menehune Marchers is a club dedicated to promoting healthy and noncompetitive walking and swimming events. Call Barbara L. Mateo, 247-5059; JoAnn Moffitt, 486-2692; Terry Puuohau, 261-3774.


A true walking shoe bends with your foot, Sussex and Kitayama agreed.

From miles 27 through 80, I wore a new pair of Mephistos that gave me plenty of room in the toe area. The toe box, that section of shoe where the toes reside, was wide enough for my toes to spread out comfortably, which wasn't happening with my other shoes.

Consumers should not be a slave to fashion, Sussex and Kitayama said.

"Pick walking shoes because they're quality shoes, not because they just make you look good or color coordinate with an outfit," he said.

To get the right fit, try on several pairs in various sizes, Sussex said.

"Everyone's feet are different, so what's comfortable for me may not be for you," she said. "And walk around in the store in the same kind of socks that you'll wear walking."

Even though I didn't, plan on breaking in walking shoes before any long-distance trekking to prevent blisters and other foot ailments, beginning with a few short walks, then slowly increase the distance, Kitayama said.

"Comfort dictates how the rest of you will feel, including your knees and spinal cord," Sussex said. "Bad shoes can cause you to walk incorrectly."

When should walking shoes be replaced? It's impossible to set a deadline because everybody's different, Kitayama said.

Generally, walking shoes tend to wear out at the outer heel and at the point where you push off with your big toe, he said. One sure way to determine if the shoe is worn out is when there's no spring left in them, or they've become rigid and difficult to bend, Kitayama said.

Tapa

HIKES

bullet Olomana: Three-mile, intermediate hike with Doug Klein, 8 a.m. Sunday. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Bring lunch and water, and wear good shoes and appropriate clothing. Cost: $2. Call Klein at 235-8330.

bullet Koko Crater: Three-mile, intermediate hike with Zon Owen, 8 a.m. Jan. 1. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Bring lunch and water, and wear good shoes and appropriate clothing. Cost: $2. Call Owen at 597-8493.

bullet Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club: Help maintain the trail at Pu'u O Kona, Jan. 3; Pauoa Woods, Jan. 10; Wailupe Gulch, Jan. 17; Manana Ditch, Jan. 24; Kuaokala, Jan. 31; Waimano, Feb. 7; Maleakahana Stream, Feb. 21; Moanalua, Feb. 28; Mount Olympus, March 7; Bowman, March 14; and Lanipo, March 21. Wear good shoes and appropriate clothing. Call Mabel Kekina, 488-0044.

bullet Kaunala: Six-mile, intermediate hike with Steve Brown, 8 a.m. Jan. 10. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Bring lunch and water, and wear good shoes and appropriate clothing. Cost: $2. Call Brown at 836-4940.

bullet Kaena Point: Four-mile, novice hike with Miles and Maureen Brubacher, 9 a.m. Jan. 16. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Bring lunch and water, and wear good shoes and appropriate clothing. Cost: $2. Call the Brubachers at 261-7814.

bullet Kealia Trail: Five-mile, challenging hike with Ken Suzuki, Jan. 23. Must be in good physical condition. Cost: $7. Reservations required. Call 955-0100.

bullet Pauoa Woods: Six-mile, intermediate hike with John Hoover, 8 a.m. Jan. 24. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Bring lunch and water, and wear good shoes and appropriate clothing. Cost: $2. Call Hoover at 528-1206.

bullet Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve: Betty Nakamura leads a four-mile, family hike for people ages 8 and up, Jan. 30. Cost: $7. Reservations required. Call 955-0100.

bullet Wailupe Gulch: Six-mile, intermediate hike with Stuart Ball, 8 a.m. Jan. 31. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Bring lunch and water, and wear good shoes and appropriate clothing. Cost: $2. Call Ball at 247-5380.

bullet Makapu'u Point: Two-mile, novice hike with Zon Owen, 8 a.m. Feb. 6. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Bring lunch and water, and wear good shoes and appropriate clothing. Cost: $2. Call Owen at 597-8493.

bullet Manana Ditch: Eight-mile, intermediate hike with Mike Mottl, 8 a.m. Feb. 7. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Bring lunch and water, and wear good shoes and appropriate clothing. Cost: $2. Call Mottl at 254-6360.

bullet Makapu'u: Two-mile, beginners hike featuring the history and geology of the area, 9-10:30 a.m. Feb. 20. Cost: $1. Register at 259-6476.

Tapa

MISCELLANEOUS

bullet Photographing nature: Steve Kastner gives tips on composition, lighting and other techniques, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Feb. 6, Hawaii Nature Center. Best for people with single lens reflex cameras. Cost: $7. Reservations required. Call 955-0100.

bullet Kuaokala Campout: Seventeen-mile, intermediate hike with Charlotte Yamane and Carole Moon, Feb. 13-15. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Cost: $2. Call Yamane or Moon at 596-4864.

bullet Growing in a bottle: Hawaii Nature Center staff show what is needed to create a healthy terrarium, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Feb. 15. Bring a one-gallon bottle made of plastic or glass. Cost: $7. Reservations required. Call 955-0100.

Tapa

CONTINUING

bullet Box car racing: Training track and workshop, 4-8 p.m. Fridays; and 1-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (except race days), 1200 Waimano Home Road, Warehouse #22. Admission: $7, one driver; $12, family of up to four drivers. Call 947-3393.

bullet Fifty-Plus Fitness Association: Three-four mile walk/run on scenic ocean and Diamond Head trails, 8-9 a.m. second Saturday of each month, Kapiolani Park Bandstand. All levels welcome. Call Ruth Heidrich at 536-4006.

bullet Free hike to Diamond Head: Meet the Clean Air Team at the Honolulu Zoo entrance, 9 a.m. Saturdays. Three miles to the top. Call 948-3299.

bullet Hash House Harriers: Social runs with Aloha group 3 p.m. Saturdays; call 948-AHHH (948-2444). Or Honolulu group 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays; call 948-HASH (948-4274).

bullet Nature Conservancy hikes: Two guided hikes a month to Honouliuli Preserve, home to more than 45 rare native plants and animals. Donation. Call 537-4508.

bullet NikeTown Running Club: All levels welcome, 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, NikeTown, 2080 Kalakaua Ave. Short to middle distance runs. Free. Call 43-6453.

bullet Sheraton Waikiki: Hawaiian torch fishing demonstration, 8:30 p.m. Sundays and Wednesdays. Cameras welcome. Call 922-4422.

bullet "Shortcut to Paradise": Clean Air Team presents scenic site tours with Scott Burlington, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays through December. Meet Burlington at the Mahatma Gandhi statue under the big banyan tree near the Honolulu Zoo entrance for a city bus ride along the Windward shoreline. Short strolls will be taken between rides. Wear shorts and bring a towel and umbrella. People who cannot stay for the whole tour may leave. Refreshments. Cost: $5 to benefit the Clean Air Team, and five city bus fares or a bus pass. Information, 948-3299.

bullet The Wheel Thing: Inline skating classes. Register at 487-5283.



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